Ombudsman Services and Partners announce new service to help small companies

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Ombudsman Services have launched two new services to help companies with alternative ways to solve disputes rather than going to court.

Recent legislative changes required by the EU ADR Directive, which came into UK law on July 9th 2015, requires from 1st October 2015 that all UK consumer-facing businesses signpost to a certified ADR entity for resolving unresolved consumer disputes.

This new law is mandatory on companies but most are unaware of its existence and few of Britain’s 5 million small companies have the resources to organise ADR services themselves. The Ombudsman Services initiative – known as The Consumer Ombudsman – has brought an online dispute resolution service to the market which companies can plug into in order to provide a ready-made ADR solution and comply with the new law.

Further details on how to register with The Consumer Ombudsman and ensure compliance with the new legislation are available from osbusinessdevelopment@ombudsman-services.org. You can view the website at www.consumer-ombudsman.org.

Alongside this initiative, Ombudsman Services officially launched their Business to Business platform on 2nd September. This is available to businesses across the UK and Ireland that are unfortunate enough to be faced with commercial disputes.

The Platform includes support for Mediation. Mediation is a highly cost-effective way for small businesses to resolve disputes, including with larger organisations. It is far cheaper and less risky than litigation and normally only takes one day. Mediations are successful at least 70% of the time.

It aims to provide a service which is easy to use and provides quality, access, choice and flexibility at a competitive price for the business market. Businesses will be able to review panel member profiles, book a mediator or request further information on the site. More information about how it works is available via their new website: www.ombudsman-services-b2b.org.

The highly talented panel of accredited mediators provided by Ombudsman Services has experience across a diverse range of sectors and has been personally selected by Business Development Director and accredited mediator Gregory Hunt, who has led commercial mediation and ADR services delivered across the world for the past 20 years. Gregory comments:

This group of mediators has been handpicked based upon their market profile, their flexibility and their determination to provide a first class service, and also because they share our vision on how mediation should be delivered to the benefit of businesses large and small and to society as a whole. Our intention is to provide the most cost-effective and efficient mediation service seen across the UK & Ireland.

To facilitate the expected high and nationwide demand for this service, Ombudsman Services have appointed, as its Service Partner, Clerksroom – who themselves have over 500 expert mediation specialists on their books and now available as part of this new service. They will also be supported by collaborative partners such as LawBite, an award winning online legal service providing ‘Simple Law for Small Companies’.

These collaborative partners will spread the message about the availability of the new service through their extensive network of SME’s and LawBite’s founder and Chairman Clive Rich will act as one of the Panel of Mediators for the service. Clive Rich comments:

This is an innovative and much needed solution for small companies and we see it as totally in line with our own mission to democratise the law and revolutionise the way legal services are delivered to the SME market – simply and affordably without compromising on quality.